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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Sunday, May 2nd | Julius Randle

Eric MacPherson

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Zach Brunner utilizes the Awesemo Boom/Bust Tool for NBA Fantasy projections for DraftKings and FanDuel today with Julius Randle.

Tonight there is a front-loaded slate which should keep things hopping right up through tip-off. There will be plenty of NBA DFS picks to choose given all the players sitting out, and here we will discuss the top plays for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Houston, Toronto and Dallas are all missing key players. Oklahoma City is in tank mode and resting everyone, so value will be plentiful. Let’s see what else we can uncover.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Sunday, May 2nd

Yahoo Play of the Day — Mikal Bridges: Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 29.18 | DraftKings: 28.36
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 30.6% | FanDuel 5.2% | DraftKings 13.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $17 | FanDuel $6,500 | DraftKings $5,300

The Suns are 15.5-point favorites heading into Oklahoma City for tonight’s matchup. With the way the Thunder are mailing it in, it is hard to believe Chris Paul will see more than 25 to 30 minutes. While Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton may reach the higher end of that range, it is hard to trust coach Monty Williams to run out his key players if the game has been salted away early. Jae Crowder has already been ruled out, so this is shaping up to be a great spot to employ Mikal Bridges in all formats on Yahoo.

Bridges is posting career highs across the board, and he has topped 35 minutes in 12 of his last 14 games, so it makes sense that he may be the key offensive player in mop-up duty. Cameron Payne, who has seen increased minutes, also would have a chance to produce in the final frame, but he is dealing with a knee injury. Keep tabs on any developments there.

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 52.73 | DraftKings: 56.88
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 12.2% | FanDuel 36.0% | DraftKings 35.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $10,800

This is the third game in four nights for the Mavericks, who dropped the Wizards 125-124, overcoming a 9-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Luka Doncic had 31 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 20 assists, including the pass that led to Dorian Finney-Smith crushing the upset-minded Washington squad.

Kristaps Porzingis has been ruled out for the fifth time in the last six games with a sore knee. Tim Hardaway Jr. will also be sitting this one out with an ankle injury. In a similar situation on Monday, the Kings bested Dallas 113-106 in Sacramento. It is unlikely that the Mavericks will take this game lightly. Jalen Brunson is also a fine play across all the DFS sites tonight.

Julius Randle: New York Knicks at Houston Rockets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.00 | DraftKings: 47.93
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 22% | FanDuel 34.8% | DraftKings 19.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,200

If someone would have said at the start of the season that the Knicks would be double-digit favorites for a game in Houston, they would have been called crazy. Yet the Rockets are in tank mode and played last night, losing by 26 points to the Warriors. Christian Wood played just 29 minutes, so he should be available tonight. He, Kevin Porter Jr. and Kelly Olynyk are the key pieces to keeping this one close.

New York is only one game ahead of Atlanta for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings, which is that last berth that guarantees a home playoff series. It is in their best interest to bank a win tonight. Weird outcomes still happen in the NBA which is why they play the games. Heck this Houston team knocked off Milwaukee 143-136 on Thursday.

Julius Randle has been a phenomenal source of fantasy production this season as new coach Tom Thibodeau has him playing heavy minutes, which in turn is producing career highs across the board. With Randle regularly being assigned a lofty salary from the DFS algorithms, gamers need to choose the spots elsewhere in order to roster him. Tonight is definitely an advantageous matchup, and Randle should flirt with 50 fantasy points.

Good Value

Marvin Bagley: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 29.96 | DraftKings: 31.14
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 2.2% | FanDuel 21.6% | DraftKings 21.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $19 | FanDuel $4,600 | DraftKings $4,500

After missing six weeks with a fracture in his left hand, Marvin Bagley returned on Friday and saw 21 minutes against the Lakers. Since he was out with a hand injury, ideally he stayed in shape and should be good for 24 to 27 minutes. However, there is no need for the Kings to go overboard with their oft-injured player.

De’Aaron Fox is still in the health and safety protocol, Harrison Barnes is doubtful with a groin injury, and Chimezie Metu is unlikely to play after injuring his back against Los Angeles. Again, while Bagley will not play much more than 27 minutes, he should have plenty of field goal and rebound opportunities while he is on the court. That makes him an outstanding bargain on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight.

Risky Value

Chris Paul: Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.3 | DraftKings: 37.66
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.2% | FanDuel 15.8% | DraftKings 19.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $31 | FanDuel $8,200 | DraftKings $7,700

Paul is gaining traction on DraftKings with his projected popularity nearing 20%. This may be buoyed by the revenge narrative, the excellent salary and/or the cherry matchup. However, this is all but assuredly a trap. Phoenix is a 15.5-point favorite, and coach Monty Williams has done a nice job of getting his core players in-game rest where possible. The Suns have their eye on a deep postseason run and it just doesn’t math out to project Paul for big minutes here.

According to the Awesemo Boom/Bust tool, there is an 11.7% probability that Paul will be in the DraftKings optimal lineup tonight. When compared with his current popularity, that gives him a -5.1 leverage score. However, the fear is that his upside will be limited, and that bears out with his 11.9% likelihood of surpassing his boom score of 48.5 DraftKings points. On the other hand, he has a 53.6% chance of busting at sub-38.5 DraftKings points. The savvy strategy is to let other gamers assume the risk.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Delon Wright: SAC at DAL – $12
  2. Lonnie Walker: SAS vs. PHI – $10
  3. Willie Cauley-Stein: DAL vs. SAC – $10

Final Thoughts on the Sunday, May 2nd NBA DFS Slate

Six of the seven games tonight will tip off within the first 30 minutes of lock. Then it is a two-hour wait until the nightcap at 10 p.m. ET between the Raptors and Lakers. This could lead to late-breaking news that needs to be monitored. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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